So you want to have a luxury spa day but you don’t want to pay luxury spa prices. There’s nothing wrong with that. You shouldn’t have to be wealthy just to get a little rest and relaxation now and then. Fortunately, you can create the whole spa experience at home with a little bit of planning.

Follow these steps for a restful, rejuvenating day right in the comfort of your own home.


1. Start With a Plan

Rather than scrambling to get everything together on the relaxing day, start a week before, setting out a game plan and doing the shopping for your spa day. You might even feel like inviting a friend or two, splitting the cost of supplies and brainstorming ideas.

Most importantly, you need to prioritize. What is it that you’re really after? Are you looking to soak in the tub for hours on end by candlelight? Are you looking for facial treatments and a manicure? Decide what the centerpiece of your spa experience will be and build around that.


2. Prepare Your Spa Environment

Any cleaning that you need to do, any preparation, do it the day before, so that when you wake up, you can just take your time easing into the day. Anything that you need set up, set it up the day before.

You may want to consider blackout curtains for the windows to provide a tranquil environment, and soothing music. Make sure that you have a playlist set up for the whole day so that you don’t have to play around with your CDs during the day itself.


3. Set Out a Meal Plan

Healthy eating is a big part of the spa experience. The foods that they have at the best spas taste deeply indulgent, even though they’re rich in fiber and vitamins.

Eat a lot of fruit, whole grains and other healthy foods that are rich in flavor. If you’re having meat, go with fish or lean poultry. Red meat can leave you feeling heavy and weighed down.

Stay hydrated with smoothies, water and your favorite fruit juices. Most importantly, eat what you like. This is your idea of a relaxing day, not someone else’s.


4. Get Some Reading Done

Pick out a book or two on healthy living and take in a chapter while soaking in the tub. Most spas have speakers come in to talk about how to live better every day, not just at the spa.

While you may not be able to afford to hire Dr. Oz to come in and talk about heart health, you can pick up some good books or even download some audiobooks to play while you relax. Nourish your mind as well as your body.


5. Unplug

On the morning of the actual spa day, step one of the spa experience is to simply unplug. If you go to a spa and everyone is chatting on their cell phones or finishing off some emails for work on their laptops, that’s not the relaxing atmosphere that you’re looking for.

So start the day by unplugging. Turn off your computer, turn off your cell phone’s ringer, wake up without an alarm clock, and set aside the day to do nothing at all but relax and take care of yourself.


6. Meditate

Take a half hour out of the morning to meditate. This is where those blackout curtains come in handy. Sit in the cross-legged position, close your eyes, and focus on nothing in particular. This is a process that can be very cleansing, getting you ready to experience your spa day with full awareness.


7. Plan the Next One

At the end of your spa day, it can be a bit of a downer that it’s already over. But it doesn’t need to be over for good. Set aside a regular spa day once a month, or even once a week if you can make the time. When you always have your next spa day to look forward to, it becomes that much easier to face the days in between.

We all need downtime in order to recharge our batteries. For some of us it’s camping or bicycling. For others, a regular, scheduled spa day can really do the trick.

Doing the spa experience at home can actually be preferable in some instances, as you’re having the full spa experience within your own space, where you can be totally in control of the experience. It’s not just about saving money, it’s about having exactly the sort of spa experience that you want to have.


How do you pamper yourself at home?